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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 3, 2011 6:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was This week's sellout. The next post in this blog is Ellis McCoy quits. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Jeld-Wen Field may get new name

Yesterday's news that the Jeld-Wen window and door company may be headed for bankruptcy suggests that Jeld-Wen Field, the Portland civic stadium that was recently re-renovated for soccer at the expense of baseball, could be undergoing yet another renaming soon. The terms of most stadium naming rights deals call for the sponsor to make payments over time, and although Timbers owner Merritt Paulson refuses to disclose the terms of his secret deal with Jeld-Wen, the official press releases about the transaction refer to the relationship as a continuing partnership.

It seems unlikely that Paulson would get paid as agreed if Jeld-Wen winds up in bankruptcy court. At which point he may be free to pursue another corporation that wants to slap its name on the taxpayers' property. Or maybe he'll just donate the naming rights back to the city and we can call it Sam-Rand Stadium.

Will the taxpayers have to pay to change all the directional signs again? One wonders whether the Jeld-Wen signs will come down the same year they went up -- that would probably be a wayward kind of record.

It's a little surprising to see a couple of Goldschmidt pals, Steve Wynne and Ron Saxton, up on the helm of a sinking ship. Don't worry, guys -- you can always land on your feet at the Port, or Metro, or Tri-Met, or the school board, or OHSU, or the gas company, or the PDC, or Pacific Power...

Comments (9)

It's the Curse of Civic Stadium:

Six months after the gates opened on PGE Park, the Enron scandal unfolded and dragged PGE through the mires of scandal, Goldschmidt, and Sten.

Now, it looks like about six months after opening the gates of Jeld-Wen Field to the Timbers Army, that company is going to crash.

With this kind of track record, I predict one of two names: SoloPower Park or Vestas Field.

6!!! corporate jets!??? No wonder they are broke.
Too much 'high flying' while the housing bubble burst.

Slush Fund Field!

Especially enjoyable is the fact that new freeway and street signs will have to be produced to reflect the name change, and the current new signs will have to be replaced with the newer new signs.

Jobs!

how about "Subsidy Village"?

"No Pity" for the taxpayers after $45M stadium

I've maintained from the beginning, that our dealings with the Paulsons would be a non-fictional allegory for the entire derivatives fiasco. It was an easy call. Expecting Henry Paulson to change is like hoping a Great White Shark will stop chomping seals and switch to tofu.

Allegories can be very effective. Back in the 60s, Norman Mailer used an Alaskan hunting trip as a basis for his book, "Why Are We in Vietnam?" I believe Sam-Rand's interaction with the Paulsons could get the same treatment in a book called, "Why Did America Go Bankrupt?"

Two events would definitely make the book. The first was a city council hearing where an earnest Merritt Paulson said he couldn't give much more to the soccer/baseball deal because he was, "out over his skis." Of course, Henry Paulson, the Timbers minority owner and money man, could have dipped into the 7 or 8 hundred million he reportedly made on Wall Street to cover this. But that's not how these people do business: Every move must be accompanied by an additional revenue stream. It's an endless pursuit, as basic as breathing. An eternal hunt for more at the expense of others. It's why Matt Taibbi came up with the phrase, "Vampire Squid". Did you notice that Henry couldn't even buy his son a toy without getting a cut?

You could argue this deal has already cost us baseball, but why quibble? It was the expression itself that dripped of privilege and country club arrogance: "Out over my skis." Maybe the United States isn't facing default right now - no, we're just out over our skis.

The second event was the priceless town meeting at Lents where Merritt was forced to encounter a different level of society. If the regulators had stood up to Wall Street like the people of Lents stood up to Merritt and his new servants on the city council, America would be fine right now. There would have been no fraudulently rated subprime mortgages all sliced and diced and mixed together. There would be no Great Recession. The Lents people sensed they were about to be screwed and they were not having it. If there is a backlash against this insane globalist banking elite, there should be a statue in Lents as one of the first signs of the coming revolution.

So how is the allegory playing lately? This week has already provided one nice new chapter with the report that Jeld-Wen field has 2 water fountains for 18,000 people. That's good stuff. The Paulsons have restricted water for their customers unless you buy it at the concession stand? How "vampire squid" of them. All they need now is a way to make money by also betting against your thirst.

Remember at the beginning of ticket sales when Merritt was out in the street handling out water bottles to people in line? That's how Wall Street works: "Here have a nice cool drink." But things sure change when you're thirsty later, don't they?

Next we're getting near the heart of the book with the Jeld-Wen naming deal. This is the ultimate tie-in. The company gets in trouble riding the insane, fraudulent housing bubble engineered in no small part by Henry Paulson. The company decides to sell bonds to save itself but as the Oregonian writes: "Jeld-Wen executives had hoped to launch their offering earlier, but the company waited out the abysmal bond market that resulted from the Greek debt crisis and the U.S. debt-ceiling standoff."

First, one of the reasons the debt-ceiling is so high is the work of Henry Paulson. Simply put, Wall Street bought the American government and when things get shaky they send someone down to Washington to transfer more wealth from the future to the fat cats of the present. That was essentially what Henry Paulson did in his time working for the Bush administration: He saved Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, all while saying how much he was helping America. We hear a lot about saving the children, right? Well, Henry Paulson is on a short list of people who took down the world economy, made their friends billionaires, and gave your children the bill.

But let's just look at the Greek debt crisis. Who was in charge of Goldman Sachs when Greece made the deals with the firm that have gotten them into such trouble? Henry Paulson. Goldman Sachs "helped" Greece raise funds. It "helped" Greek politicians hide debt using such shady things as fictional exchange rates. Now Greece is selling off huge pieces of itself: Airports, islands. I'm surprised Goldman Sachs didn't get the Parthenon.

There's your tie-in. Jeld-Wen is Greece. Henry Paulson crushed both of them like a plastic water bottle. Jeld-Wen is on a long list of seals torn to shreds in the jaws of a Great White Shark. Also on the list: America. So my vote for a new stadium name? Allegory Stadium. Of course, we don't have the right to name our own stadium anymore. The Paulsons got that too.

If I were Jeld-Wen and I had been making business decisions based on a bubble that was driven by fraudulently rated security swaps, I would be thinking about suing someone too.


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